Durban, South Africa
The road from Johnannesburg to Durban is picturesque to say the least. Drove past corn fields where women were gathering dried husks and filling huge sacks with them and walking along the road balancing these huge sacks on their heads. “It’s for fuel”, my bus driver explained, noticing my interest, and hand going to the camera. “It gets very cold here at night and there is little electricity.”
I had a very attentive bus driver – for say, the first 500km, I was his only passenger. After this explanation, his Nokia 3315 (best phone ever!!) rung and he answered it in Zulu! Zulu – clicks and all. Call me unenlightened (totally justified) but in my mind, Zulu is reserved for huge, topless women who wear loads of beaded jewelry.
We drove through open plains dotted with those African trees and dry grassy fields which rather reminded me of parts of NSW, especially as there were gum trees dotted around. The scenery soon changed as mountains which were formerly watermarked in the distance drew closer and closer – these ended up being the Drakensburg Mountains. Rugged peaks with dams below – the water nearly matched the cloudless sky for colour – such a bright blue! Mountains suggest cooler temperatures to me, not so here; 30+!!
A few hours later, we hit Durban. Durban at peak hour is rather hectic with people and cars everywhere. I went for a wander, walked past this huge water theme park, spotted a few very dilapidated buildings, had a quick chat to a friendly South African Indian who gave me a few tourist tips. I found a few colonial looking buildings and then visited Addington Beach. It was beautiful. The sand and water looked lovely, it was almost sunset, and still above thirty degrees and the boulevard, which was not unlike Cronulla in that it seemed to stretch forever and was lined by restaurants, cafes and highrises and was full of tourists, joggers, couples, and surfers. Though I must say spotted a couple of human drawn rickshaws! Durban is the city with the most Indians in South Africa.
As dusk fell however, it still wasn’t quite dark mind you, everyone suddenly dissipated! I popped into a convenience store on my way back to the hostel, and the guy told me that it was too dangerous for me to be out at this time, which possibly explains the sudden disappearance of well everyone as the sun set. I was only a couple of minutes away from the hostel, but I walked quickly, I assure you.